The reality of self-employment has eaten into earnings this month, with freelance builders roughly £50 a week worse off than they were during April.
It’s a sharper-than-usual drop of 5.5% on average, with those in the North-East particularly feeling the pinch. “Their earnings have spiralled down by 8.4%, which is one of the biggest monthly drops we’ve seen anywhere for a long, long time,” says Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield.
“Some clients are telling us there is less work in the pipeline, which is allowing them to take a more controlled approach to ongoing projects, and as a result, their freelancers are doing fewer hours. We’re also seeing smaller firms pricing up work for larger contractors to reflect the risk of dealing with the financially troubled outsourcing sector.”
|Region||May 2019 Average||Change from April 2019|
|Yorkshire & Humber||£773.00||-5.6%|
|East of England||£873.00||-5.9%|
To view our interactive pay trends map click here
With the national fall in earnings, no individual trade gained this month and the ones that lost most are:
Looking at the bigger picture, while housebuilding expanded last month, civil engineering declined for the fourth successive month and and commercial remained subdued.
“Brexit-related anxiety continues to dominate decision making and project authorisations,” Ian Anfield observes. “The latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index survey highlights the sharpest drop in construction employment for six-and-a-half years, along with cautious recruitment activity.
“It’s not been a good month for the economy, the industry, or for freelancers. But even so, even after this month’s fall, labour-only subbies are still earning the equivalent of £43,000 a year, as against the average UK salary of £29,000.”